WELCOME TO FUTURE U — Neoliberalism in Higher Education

Since the 1980s, higher education–along with all other institutions–has felt the impact of a phenomenon known broadly as neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism promotes radical individualism, limited government, fiscal restraint, and a social order based on market principles.

Colleges and universities have a special responsibility to provide an open forum for intellectual critique of social movements, particularly when something hits close to home. Moreover, academic faculty must be vigilant in guarding the principles and values of higher education, as well as its core mission to advance human knowledge and progress.

The time has come to have public debates about the type of society that we want, the direction that neoliberal policies have taken society and its institutions, and the alternative paths that lead to a social order with less poverty and greater opportunities for all.

There are many paths to a good society, and colleges and universities play a central role, irrespective of the chosen path. But to do that, American higher education must reaffirm the importance of traditional values and operate colleges and universities accordingly.

Purpose of Our Website

Established in 2015, this website was conceived and managed by a group of current and former Michigan State University faculty members. The purpose is to be declarative about the pernicious impacts of neoliberalism on higher education and society at large. (NOTE: This site is not affiliated with Michigan State University or any other institution, higher education or otherwise.)

With new articles posted daily, you’ll find a rotating set of features, perspectives, news stories, and other materials of interest.

FutureU is Dedicated to Two of the Co-Founders of this Site Who Have Passed Away,

 Bonnie Bucqueroux and Larry Busch

Bonnie Bucqueroux designed and managed this website until her death in October 2015.

BonnieBonnie meant so much to many of us who live in the MSU, Lansing Community College, and Lansing communities. She was a constant and vibrant leadership figure in activist efforts.

You can read more about Bonnie’s life and her many contributions.

RJ Wolcott’s article about her was published in the October 15, 2015, edition of The Lansing State Journal. And read Lawrence Cosentino’s piece about Bonnie, about his relationship with her, and the meaning she brought to his life. It was published in The City Pulse. You can read it here.

As Bonnie liked to say:

“We’ll change the world one tomato at a time. 

We certainly have enough compost to do the job.” 

Larry Busch coined this website, FutureU.  A dear friend and wonderful colleague, Larry was a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Michigan State University. We lost him in 2019.

Dr. Larry Busch

All who knew Larry were influenced by him. With such intellect and wit–and that ever-present wry smile–he’d teach and you’d learn. Face-to-face, listening to a lecture, reading his work…no matter the format…Larry influenced. He always made you think twice, and then some, about whatever was the topic at hand.

A few days before he passed, Larry penned these words. They are worth remembering. “I have lived a wonderful life. Karen and I have had 53 years of marriage that has been filled with love, deep respect, excellent communication, and lots of sharing. We have two loving daughters who married good men and have produced four super grandchildren, and who have given us a fun-filled retirement. Additionally, I have had an exceptional career with so many of you participating in it along the way. As you know, I have loved the intellectual discussions that have brought me your ideas, arguments, feedback, and collaborations. I have really valued our time together. My career would not have been so enriched with all the honors I have received without your participation. Thank you for all the moments that have made my life an excellent one.” Larry Busch will keep teaching and influencing us.

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